Bourgeois Guitars to partner with Eastman

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by John Thigpen, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    I don't get why people insist on looking at guitars as investments, unless we're talking either iconic vintage instruments or boutique stuff from a handful of elite luthiers. To me, it doesn't seem realistic to be concerned about how a Bourgeois/Eastman collaboration will impact the resale value of your Bourgeois guitar.

    I respect Dana Bourgeois' guitars-- the ones I've played (and an OM I owned briefly) were well made and good sounding. I've liked the Eastmans I've played, and consider them among the best of the Chinese import copies of American designs. It should be interesting to see what comes of this collaboration.
     
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  2. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    interesting that you don't consider Bourgeois an”elite luthier “.
    who does fall into that category for you?
     
  3. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    Pricewise, Bourgeois definitely falls into the elite category for me. I can't name the poster's elite luthiers but at 400 guitars a year Bourgeois is a factory builder, albeit a small one.

    hunter
     
  4. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    I can see why you reacted that way-- maybe I should've been more clear. I'm well aware of Dana Bourgeois' pedigree in lutherie, especially his work with Eric Schoenberg in re-creating smaller bodied Martin designs during a time when Martin was focused mostly on dreadnoughts. I consider him to be an elite luthier, but not one of the "handful" of elite luthiers I had in mind. I'm basing my thinking not just on excellence in guitar making, but also on production volume, or lack of same.

    I was thinking of people like Linda Manzer, Jeff Traugott, James Olson, Grit Laskin, Julius Borges, Michael Millard, and others who either work alone or with one or two employees, turn out a small number of instruments each year, and have very long waiting lists. Due to their scarcity, these folks' instruments may represent "investment" rather than just mean you're getting a really nice guitar.
     
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  5. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    got cha.. I was just curious. I didn’t mean to react negatively sorry if it came off that way..
    As an aside, I from the “never buy a guitar as an investment” camp..
    Although I do kick myself from time to time for not buying a couple of Henderson’s when they were ~2k all day. :)
     
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  6. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    This has all been done before -- so many times that it's tedious to hear about it. How well it works depends on materials sourcing, production methods, and the like, and very little with what some famous builder did or did not make in his own shop. People who can build good guitars cannot necessarily do so via a factory. Just look at how much crap Gibson acoustic, among many others, has thrown out there despite having various true guru luthiers helm their factory. Success depends on the ability to implement and program robots, and to employ workers who are comparatively vastly underpaid while highly skilled. (That's why companies have gone from Japan to Korea to China to Indonesia.) Nobody, including Dana Bourgeois, who is probably a great guy, is gifting the midrange buyer with bargain guitars. That "mission" is just rhetoric. They'll be making what most people can afford to buy, and doing so as profitably as possible. Offshore production... yeah, I think I've heard of that.
     
  7. amigo30

    amigo30 Supporting Member

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    Once I started doing side-by-side comparisons, I stopped thinking like that. Real fast.

    I still didn't think like that after comparing 1.5k Chinese to 2.5K Martins. Not knocking Martin at all - but Eastman's are that good.
     
  8. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    Does scarcity mean cash value, though? Or just collectability fun? I can't think of any of the current builders, no matter how high up the chain, where used instruments sell for more than new. That seems to only be true of vintage instruments.
     
  9. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist

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    A closed mind is such a terrible thing

    Question, how much cost vs profit margin does Martin have?
     
  10. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    There are a couple. The best known is probably Henderson. New ~8k and a 8 to 10 year waiting list. Used 16 -25k
     
  11. musekatcher

    musekatcher Member

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    Its interesting, but I don't see that we need more of either Eastman/imports, nor more of a boutique/small factory $6500 guitars? Is there really a demand?

    I had a nice Bourgeois, among others. It had some superior qualities, but I sold it. It was special, but so are the dozen or so other one-offs I've owned since.

    It just seems like an obvious contradiction to me - a 3 lb pile of wood either requires Old World expertise from a master luthier to be special, or it doesn't. I'm pretty surprised Dana is in full admission that faster saws and sharper chisels are all that's needed to make a cheaper Bourgeois?
     
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  12. jklotz

    jklotz Member

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    I'm pretty sure Dana's shop has some plenty sharp chisels. It's the labor costs. To make a guitar by hand requires many man hours.
     
  13. musekatcher

    musekatcher Member

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    Ah. So he's admitting anyone can do what he does, including whittlers he will never meet?
     
  14. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    ???
     
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  15. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    Question,
    Are these new Eastman ' Double Top' guitars I am seeing in ads and demos a Bourgeois creation?
    They bear the Eastman name, but are Asian Import/ $1999 and cite ' boutique build' in the copy
    ( but no mention of DB)
    **maybe I'm just putting things together that aren't there- just curious
     
  16. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    My understanding from a couple of weeks ago is that beyond talking and 2 prototypes nothing else exists.
     
  17. jklotz

    jklotz Member

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    No, not related.
     
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  18. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Member

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    From Guitar.com:

    The DT30D’s soundboard is a three-layer construction, but it’s certainly not plywood. Instead, we have two very thin layers of Sitka spruce sandwiching a Nomex ‘honeycomb’ core. The idea is to achieve a far higher strength-to-weight ratio than is possible with a single spruce layer

    https://guitar.com/review/acoustic-guitar/review-eastman-double-top-series-dt30d/

    No, this was developed prior to the deal with Bourgeois.
     
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  19. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    Thanks!
     
  20. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    High end work requires subtle experience. It's about both material selection and how to work it - a brace profile here, a thickness there. That leads to the difference between an ordinary factory instrument and something like a Bourgeois. So a great factory like Bourgeois can teach a lesser factory how to make better guitars - better if they're already making very good guitars.

    Teaching can go both ways, too. I remember reading about how Lowden started working with the S Yairi factory in Japan in the 1980s. He found that their tools and techniques were building his designs not only faster and cheaper, but more consistently and to better tolerances. He brought what he learned there back when he started building guitars in Ireland again.
     

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